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through spending cuts, and while president obama would not answer questions about the counterproposal -- >> no deal better than a bad deal, sir? >> thank you. >> reporter: -- a senior white house official assailed it as a step backwards saying if republicans do not agree to some higher rates for wealthier taxpayers, the nation will go over the cliff and the american people will hold the republicans responsible. wall street remains optimistic a deal will be struck, so the lack of progress has not yet resulted in a market plunge, but some economists estimate that because of the uncertainty posed by the fiscal cliff, at least 200,000 fewer jobs have been created this year. and, diane, the official deadline for the fiscal cliff is december 31st at midnight when the ball drops in times square, but there's actually another deadline. the house of representatives is scheduled to go on winter break a week from friday, so really there are only 11 days to work out a plan as of now, diane. >> talk about the clock ticking down. thanks so much, jake. >>> and, of course, the president also spoke out
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